Lower urinary tract injury: is urology consultation necessary?
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There is a paucity of data regarding urology involvement in the management of lower urinary tract injuries (LUTI). We seek to analyze the incidence and epidemiology of LUTI with special attention to trends in urology consultation.
A retrospective review was conducted of patients presenting to our Level I trauma center with LUTI from 2002 to 2016. Demographics, mechanism of injury, associated injuries, injury severity score (ISS), American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) injury scales, and clinical hospital course were analyzed.
A total of 140 patients (0.47% of all trauma patients) were identified with LUTI, with 72.1% of these presenting with blunt trauma. Bladder injuries were more common than urethral injuries (79% vs. 14%) with 6% of patients having both. In-hospital mortality was 9.2% (13/140). Among patients with LUTI, 115 patients (82%) received urology consultation. There was no significant difference in sex, age, or LOS (hospital and ICU) between the groups. The consult group had a lower mean ISS (21.7 vs 27.9, p = 0.034), but a higher mean AAST bladder injury scale (2.57 vs 2.00, p = 0.016), than the non-consult group. There was a statistically significant difference in the diagnosis methods between the two groups (χ2 test of independence, p = 0.002).
Urology service is important in the management of LUTI with high AAST injury scale. While further study is needed to look at degree of urology service involvement in the management of LUTI, we recommend a consultation for severe LUTI or when the management of injuries is out of the comfort zone of the trauma surgeons. Whether consultation is obtained or not, there is room for improvement in appropriate work up of lower urinary tract injury.
KeywordsTrauma Urinary tract Bladder Urethra Urology Consultation
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Conflict of interest
Michael Ernst, Amanda Sherman, Teresa Danforth, and W. Alan Guo declare that they have no conflict of interest.